THE family of missing Rikki Baldwin who is believed to have fallen into the River Wye, were devastated when flowers placed on the bridge were destroyed.

A Facebook group asking for help in finding Mr Baldwin, age 24, from Sedbury, has attracted more than 8,000 members, with friends and family posting messages calling for his safe return.

On April 14, one women posted to the group, saying: "In the early hours someone ripped up and threw away all the flowers from the bridge where Rikki was last seen.

"These had been put there by family and friends and even people who didn't know him but wanted to pay respects."

A Gloucestershire police spokeswoman confirmed that they received a call at 11.30am on Saturday, April 14, from Mr Baldwin's family.

She said: "Rikki's family are understandably very upset at the desecration of the tributes placed on the bridge.

"Our officers have been liaising with the family and are investigating the desecration. We'd like to hear from anyone with information about who was responsible for this highly insensitive act."

Since the incident, friends and family have continued to place flowers on the bridge, which is believed to be the last place that Mr Baldwin was seen.

Mr Baldwin went missing in the early hours of Monday, April 9, with a search operation beginning at 12.45am.

It is believed he fell from the A48 road bridge between Sedbury and Chepstow.

Severn Area Rescue Association continues to monitor the area.

Gloucestershire Police inquiries are continuing and CCTV footage from the Aura nightclub in Chepstow, where he was believed to be until 12.30am on Monday, April 9, have been studied.